Psalm 46: 1 “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble”

Psalm 46 is a wonderful Psalm of remembrance, and in our remembering strength, for the journey before us.  In these days of “social distancing”, filled with uncertainty, anxiety, dis-ease, and frustration; the church offers hope, perspective, rest, and comfort.

As we continue to worship together, study together, support and encourage one another through the amazing technological tools at our disposal, I encourage you to join us for our Live Stream Services (Join us via the website or on our Facebook page):

March 31, 9:30am, (re-broadcast at 11:00)

Palm Sunday, April 5, 9:30am (re-broadcast at 11:00)

Good Friday, April 10, 7:30pm

Easter Celebration, April 12, 9:30am (re-broadcast at 11:00)

(All services will be archived on our Website and Facebook page)

In addition, the following are ways we can participate in and ensure the ongoing mission and ministry of HPCUMC:   

Your Financial Gifts.  The mission and ministry of HPCUMC continues and your financial support is as vital now as it has ever been.  Please make your gifts in one of the following ways:  Online via the website; Use the QR code; or mail your contribution to the Church office.

Daily Devotion.  Pastor Cathy, Pastor Dave, and Pastor Doug will offer a live stream daily devotion: “It is Well: Daily Prayer and Praise” is offered every morning March 23 – April 18.  Join us through the web site or on the HPCUMC Facebook page (To view later in the day “It Is Well” will be archived on both sites).

Follow the CDC guidelines. There is a lot of mis-information on the inter-net, be aware of and follow the CDC guidelines.

Encourage One Another.  An email of encouragement, a phone call, a note in the mail, or sharing a devotion goes a long way in lifting the spirits of one another.

May the opening verse of Psalm 46 be your “breath prayer” (a short, one sentence statement that can be prayed over and over, as a means of centering oneself in the presence of God): “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble”.  Our prayers continue for you, our faith community, state, nation and globe.  I encourage you to embrace the concluding words of Psalm 46: “Be still, and know that I am God . . .  The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge.” (v.10-11).   

Through Christ,

Pastor Doug

My Favorite Letters from Children to God / Coronavirus Update

One of my favorite books, Children’s Letters to God, compiled by Stuart Hample and Eric Marshall continues to make me smile.  Here’s a few (just as they wrote them):

Dear God, My grandpa says you were around when he was a little boy.  How far back do you go?  Love, Dennis

Dear God, I bet it is very hard for you to love all of everybody in the whole world  There are only 4 people in our family and I can never do it.  Nan

We read Thomas Edison made light.  But in Sunday School they said You did it.  So I bet he stoled your idea.  Sincerely, Donna

Dear God, thank you for the baby brother but what I prayed for was a puppy.  Joyce

Dear God, I didn’t think orange went with purple until I saw the sunset you made on Tues.  That was COOL.  Eugene

These are certainly days for intentionality and nimbleness as we battle the dangerous COVID-19 virus as a community. During this season of required social distancing, please know that your church family is standing with you.  At this moment, Wednesday afternoon, March 18, we will hold live stream worship on Sunday, March 22. We will continue to offer live stream worship at 9:30 and 11:00 a.m. until further notice. We are counting on you to support your church during these challenging days with your prayers, presence (worshipping online), gifts, (giving online or sending your offering in the mail), and witness.  We celebrate that last Sunday morning nearly 290 different computers logged in for online worship. The choir and persons leading worship felt God’s Spirit and felt your presence! Join us this Sunday at 9:30 am or 11:00 am.  Online worship can be accessed easily on our website or through our Facebook page.  We will post all updates on our website and notify you through the electronic newsletter.  People in our congregation are mobilized to help you with food deliveries or a supportive phone call; please let us know how we can help.   

Please know that our prayers are with you during this challenging season.

Peace,

Pastor Cathy

Caring for Each Other During the Coronavirus

Caring for Each Other During the Coronavirus

What can I do to help?

Last Updated: 4/2

We suggest that you bookmark/save this page to come back to for updates regarding needs, volunteering, sign ups, etc. You do not need to be a member or attend HPCUMC in order to serve, donate, or help. We have an opportunity to work together in order to care for each other. Please share with others!

UPDATE: The church and the services we are providing are STILL considered ESSENTIAL under Gov. DeWine’s order going into effect at 11:59p on Monday, April 6. Therefore, people are STILL ABLE to serve, drop off donations, and get the resources and food during distribution times. We are keeping up with protocol and limiting the amount of people serving to maintain social distancing and have plenty of sanitizer and gloves available for people helping to use.

Update: The church building will be open from 10:00a-6:00p daily to receive donations at the Welcome Center.

Take basic precautions. Model healthy behaviors.

These simple steps will help you and those around you. They’ll also reduce your feelings of powerlessness.

  • Practice good hand-washing techniques.Wash your hands with soap and water, for at least 20 seconds. If you can’t wash your hands, use hand sanitizer with 60-95% alcohol.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue, or your bent elbow, when you cough or sneeze.
  • Maintain at least six (6) feet between yourself and others.
  • Seek medical attention if you or a family member experience a fever, cough, or shortness of breath.

 

Distribute free meals EVERYDAY to children. There are TWO options for locations: Hyde Park Community UMC (1345 Grace Ave.) AND the State Ave. UMC (690 State Ave) 

We are providing ALL children 18 and under with a FREE lunch EACH DAY (including Saturday and Sunday). The meals we will be serving are shelf stable so do not need to be refrigerated.

  • Hyde Park Community UMC  (1345 Grace Ave.) will distribute food from 12:00p-1:00p at 1345 Grace Ave. every day (including weekends). Children need to be present to receive meals. 
  • State Ave UMC (690 State Ave.) will distribute food from 3:00p-5:00p every day (including weekends). Children need to be present to receive meals. 
  • We are following Gov. DeWine’s orders and all meals will be picked up and to be taken offsite (meals will be given out to CHIlDREN at HPCUMC and the Warehouse, but the kids need to take the meals home and can’t eat onsite). This option will allow the kids to be fed, but greatly reduce the risk associated with in person contact (think social distancing).
  • Other ways you can help from your home in this area is helping to get the word out about this resource on social media and your networks OR make homemade masks for those serving and bring them to the church or email Pastor Kate to schedule a pick up (ksmith@hpcumc.org)
  • To distribute meals at HPCUMC (1345 Grace Ave.) with shifts being 11:45a-1:15a daily – sign up to serve here
  • To distribute meals at State Ave UMC (690 State Ave.) with two shift options daily – sign up to serve here

Donate plastic shopping bags

Do you have plastic bags you don’t know what to do with? Please drop them off in the Welcome Center at Hyde Park Community UMC (1345 Grace Ave.) any time between 10:00a-6:00p. Signs will let the way from the parking lot entrances. These bags will go to great (re)use in helping to get our meals and other supplies to people.

Donate food to Madisonville Education and Assistance Center (MEAC)

MEAC has been working to meet the needs of the community since 1986 and HPCUMC has been a partner since it’s inception. In this time of crisis and uncertainty, MEAC wants our neighbors to feel secure in our ability to continue to meet the needs of the community, and to do so in a way that limits the risks to public health.

  • We are continuing our Project 5000 food drive to support MEAC’s food pantry. You can buy the pantry items yourself or donate money (approx. $25 to fill one bag to feed a family of 4) that will go directly to MEAC to purchase food.
  • Give online here – choose Project 5000 in the drop down menu.
  • The church will be open from 10:00a-3:00p daily to drop off your donation. The church’s address is 1345 Grace Ave. Please drop off your donation in the Welcome Center (signs will guide you from entrances off the parking lot)  and it will be delivered to MEAC. This method allows for social distancing and allows you to come when you are able.
  • Extra Project 5000 bags will be available if you don’t have a bag before you shop or if you plan to make another donation. Just fill the bag when you get here and feel free to take a bag if you want to make another donation.
  • Below is the shopping list that will feed a family of 4. We’ve gotten feedback that people are going to multiple stores to get what’s on the list (that isn’t needed). Right now, please use the list as a guide not a rule in filling the bag. It is better to bring in a bag with alternative non-perishable items than wait until you find exactly what’s on the list.

Donate food, cleaning supplies, toiletries, and other school/art supplies to Rothenberg Preparatory Academy for students and families

HPCUMC has a 9-year partnership with Rothenberg Preparatory Academy. Cincinnati Public Schools (CPS) is providing breakfast and lunch to children at various CPS locations – find a location closest to you and schedule of distribution here. We are accepting donations at the church and the donations will be distributed to families when they pick up food at Rothenberg. There is another option to give money directly to Collaborate and Care that will be used to purchase goods.

  • The church will be open from 10:00a-6:00p daily to drop off your donation. The church’s address is 1345 Grace Ave. Please drop off your donation in the Welcome Center (signs will guide you from entrances off the parking lot)  and it will be delivered to MEAC. This method allows for social distancing and allows you to come when you are able.
  • Please make your donation/bag with “Rothenberg”
  • Ideas for donation:
    • Hygiene/Toiletry Kits
    • Educational/Fun Activity Kits (stickers, coloring pages, books, games, etc.)
    • Power Packs/Bags of Food/Non-perishable items, canned goods, etc.
  • To give monetary donations please mail your check to: Cincinnati Public Schools; Attn: Collaborate & Care; P.O Box 5381; Cincinnati, OH 45201-5381

Schedule a Pick Up from New Life Furniture Bank and Donate Furniture, Dishes, Linens and Home Goods 

Many of you are currently using some of your time at home to organize and unload furniture, dishes, linens, homewares, etc. that you no longer need. Please call us if you would like to donate your furniture to people who are fleeing homelessness. Just give us a call at 513-313-0530, and we’ll pick it up (outside of course), and we’ll email you a receipt (all donations are tax-deductible).

Send Letters to Homebound Seniors

Mail letters/cards/pictures to isolated senior adults. Contact Pam Pilger at ppilger@hpcumc.org to obtain addresses.

Ideas/Resources for Children

  • Stay connected with other children: decrease social isolation for children by submitting pictures of them and we will publish them in our weekly HPC Kids Newsletter (contact Pam Pilger to get the Newsletter for your family ppilger@hpcumc.org). They can be silly, happy, or sad. God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in time of trouble. We are not alone. Together, as the body of Christ, we can remind our children of this.
  • Children’s Sunday School Lessons: check out the HPC Kids Newsletter for brief, entertaining video lessons. The Preschool Theme is “Follow Jesus” and the Elementary Theme is “Forgiveness – It’s Up to You.” Contact Pam at ppilger@hpcumc.org if you are not on the HPC Kids mailing list.
  • Sharing Prayers of Joys and Concerns: post your children’s joys and concerns on our Facebook Hyde Park Community UMC Children and Family Ministry group page. Then share what other children have posted and pray about them together with your child. The Facebook group is a closed group. Please join to help keep connected and supported.

Make protective masks and gowns to donate to hospitals through JoAnn stores

JoAnn stores are connecting with local hospitals and other health care facilities around the country to supply them with protective mask, gowns, and other essential items from donations. This is a way people can help from home! The masks can also be donated to the church so that those distributing food can use them! 

There are online tutorials, resources, and how-tos to help you with this project. If you don’t already have the supplies you can buy online and choose “Free Store Pick-Up” with curbside pick up now available. When you’ve completed your project(s) you can take them to the closest JoAnn Fabric store (there is one in Hyde Park Plaza) and they will do the leg work to deliver them to local hospitals and other health care facilities.

Explore the online tutorials, resources, how-tos and all the details from JoAnn.

Donate blood 

There is always a need for blood donations, especially in a time of health crisis.

Denounce racism and xenophobia

Coronavirus has revived racial stereotypes, and harmed many. Remember – this outbreak is not confined to one race or ethnicity. There is never an excuse for racism. Speak out when you hear blame and shame being placed on a specific race or ethnic group.

Check on older family, friends, and neighbors

Share God’s kindness. And do it in a way that does not jeopardize their health. Many of the suggestions below are from Ohio Department of Health Director Amy Action, M.D., MPH.

  • Call, send a text message or video chat. Ask how they are doing. Tell them you’re praying for them. Share a joke or memory.
  • If you can’t call or text, talk through the door.
  • Leave a hand-made card or small “thinking of you” gift on their doorstep or mailbox.
  • Make sure they have plenty of food, water, and medical supplieson hand, or prepare a meal. Ask questions like “I’m running to the store – can I get you anything?” or “Are you hungry for anything in particular?” If store supplies allow it, stock them up for several days. Drop it off on their front door step.
  • Run other errands – pharmacies for medicines, other stores for essentials
  • If applicable, do basic yard work, take their trash or recycling to the curb or bin, or drop off their mail at their door.
  • Support their four-legged friends. Help stock up on essentials like food, treats, etc.
  • Think about what you would like if you were stuck in your home. Would you want books, games, other comfort measures?
  • Identify a backup caregiver for your older relative who can step in if you get sick.

Supporting local partners 

Hyde Park Community UMC is proud to partner with local organizations, agencies, and schools. Now more than ever we need to come together as a community to support each other. Below is a list of places that we are (and will continue to) support financially and many through service thanks to people’s generosity and giving:

Please contact Pastor Kate with any questions (ksmith@hpcumc.org) 

HPCUMC and the Corona virus

Dear Hyde Park Community Family:

Grace and peace to you through our Lord, Jesus Christ.  In these anxious days, fueled by the COVID-19 virus, these words of Paul in Philippians come to mind:  “In our anxious thoughts and worry, God will guard our hearts and offer us peace. (Philippians 4:6-7)

Last night our Bishop, Gregory Palmer, sent an email to the churches of West Ohio Conference:

Dear Partners in Ministry,

Times like these require unprecedented measures. I am strongly urging West Ohio Conference churches to cancel public worship for the next two weeks. This is not a decision I have taken lightly. These precautions are not only important for your own safety but for the health and welfare of the entire community. Please use your discretion regarding smaller group gatherings such as bible studies, etc. I am not asking you to cease operations completely but to avoid large group gatherings.

As we take precautions, let us must remember the poor and marginalized still depend on our churches.  The need may increase due to company shutdowns and closures for any period of time. In the days to come, the conference website and social media channels will have additional resources for you and your local church.

In the service of Christ,

Bishop Gregory V. Palmer

In light of Bishop Palmer’s letter, in addition to Governor DeWine and Mayor Cranley’s press conferences, Hyde Park Community will cease public worship this Sunday, March 15, and the following Sunday, March 22.  We will evaluate, and decide on future Sundays after consulting with the Ohio Department of Health, the Bishop’s and District Superintendent’s offices.   It is our responsibility to care for those in our church, community and world by limiting our contact as a sign of our love of neighbor.
Worship With us Online:  www.hydeparkchurch.org (click on Media – click on Live Stream) . . .  Although we will not have public worship we will have worship, online, via Live Stream this Sunday, March 15 and March 22.  We will live stream worship at 9:30 (the service will be archived if you desire to join worship at 11:00).  As you participate in the Live Stream please make sure you record your attendance.  In addition, you will find the opportunity to make your offering online.

 Once again, there will be no public worship services this Sunday, March 15,  and March 22.  You are encouraged to join us by Live Stream.

 During this time, we are asking you to help stop the spread of the virus in the following ways:

  1. Stay at home when you or a family member are sick.
  2. Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  3. Cover your sneeze or cough with a tissue or your elbow.
  4. Get in the habit of NOT touching your face so often.
  5. Forgo shaking hands.
  6. If you or someone you know tests positive for COVID-19, please let us know so we can find a way to help, pray for everyone involved and take any necessary precautions here at HPCUMC.

Please know that our prayers are with you and your loved ones during this challenging time.   During the storm on the Sea of Galilee, Jesus was in the boat with the disciples and commanded the wind and waves to “be still.”  Jesus is in the boat with us.  If this news or concerns are causing you to fear, please email one of the pastors and we can connect.  May God’s blessings abound as we make this journey together.

Through Christ,

Pastors Cathy and Doug

Senior Pastors

 

HPCUMC and the Coronavirus Virus:

In light of the continuing spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) I take this opportunity to communicate our current and developing plans for addressing healthy habits and maximizing efforts to prevent the spread of harmful germs. The staff and leadership will continue to monitor and follow the guidance of the US Center for Disease Control in our response to coronavirus.  The following are actions each of us can take to ensure our personal health and the health of those around us:

US Center for Disease Control and The Ohio Department of Health recommends precautions used for reducing the risk of infection for other illnesses, such as flu:

  Wash your hands for 20 seconds or more with soapy water. If unavailable, use hand sanitizer.

  Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.

  Avoid contact with people who are sick.

  Stay home while you are sick (except to visit a health care professional) and to avoid contact with others.

  Cover your mouth/nose with a tissue or sleeve when coughing or sneezing.

  Get adequate sleep and eat well-balanced meals to ensure a healthy immune system.

HPCUMC encourages the following practices as we worship, learn and fellowship with one another over the next couple of months:

  Our janitorial crew is diligently cleaning common areas with appropriate sanitizing agents.

  Holy Communion in April 5 and Maundy Thursday (May 3 if warranted) will be served using individually wrapped wafer and cup.

  As we greet one another at the beginning of our worship we encourage you to either bow, or bump elbows.

  If you need to stay home on Sunday morning join us for worship via our Live Stream (9:30 and 11:00 worship).  Go to hydeparkcurch.org – click on Media, click on Live Stream, or Facebook (Hyde Park Community).  Be sure to let us know you are worshiping via Live Stream by recording your attendance.

  Give On Line or by using the QR code found in this issue of News and Happenings.  The mission and ministry of HPC depends on your financial investment.  Your faithful giving to HPC will ensure that the transforming ministries of HPC continue, as we strive to be God’s light and love to Cincinnati and the world.

We are a multi-generational church family, as each of us takes care of our personal health we participate in caring for those who have vulnerable immune systems.  Together we can help prevent/minimize the spread of the coronavirus.  I look forward to seeing you in Church.

Through Christ,

Pastor Doug

The Sisters Who Sang for Me

Several years ago I attended a national United Methodist Clergywomen’s Conference in San Diego.   Since we are a global church, there were women in attendance from around the world.  There were several women bishops present and powerful, creative worship.

One particular evening there was a Taize worship service.  I attended but I came with a handicap. Because of laryngitis, I was unable to sing or speak.

The Taize community, located in Burgundy, France was founded in 1940.  Brother Roger yearned for living a life in alignment with scripture.  In the wake of the defeat of the French in 1940, he sought to form a community that would assist people who were discouraged or out of work, creating a space for people to participate in work and the spiritual discipline of silence.

Taize music has a unique quality.  It stems from the idea that when one sings, one prays twice.  A simple phrase is sung prayerfully, often a simple scripture such as “The Lord is my light, my light and my salvation…whom shall I fear?”  As the song continues, harmonies and sometimes descants are added.  The music eventually “soars” and then usually returns to the original, simple line.

That night in San Diego, surrounded by hundreds of singing sisters in Christ, I worshipped God with my whole heart.   I chose to sit in the middle of the room.  My voice did not sing one note.  My sisters in Christ sang for me; I was richly blessed.

Thank you for being a part of this community of faith; we are blessed because you are here.

Peace,

Pastor Cathy